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Make it Simple, Fun and Relevant - Part 2

Last week we discussed the three pillars on which we build our user experience. In addition to those three pillars, there are eight guidelines that we follow to ensure that our user interface is fun, simple, easy to use, and relevant to the enduser. The last of those qualities, relevant to the enduser, is the cornerstone of a successful experience. Fun and easy to use are irrelevant if the Talent and Performance Management system does not provide actionable, strategic data on your people. Our eight core guidelines are:
  1. Simplicity
    This is a core value of the company, to make it as easy as possible for our users to do their jobs - reduce clutter and complexity wherever possible.
  2. Efficiency
    Provide users with the most efficient means possible for them to accomplish their goals - in general, the fewer delays, page views, and mouse-clicks, the better.
  3. Quality and robustness
    Because of the importance and sensitivity of our customer’s data, as well as the uptime (availability) of our product, our product must be precise, solid, well functioning, secure, and unbreakable.
  4. Clear, direct, and honest communication
    We follow guidelines for communications that also happen to be good for user interfaces! Instructions and messages should never confuse the user.
  5. Add value at every step
    We demand of ourselves to add “value” at every step. Every feature of our product should have some strategic reasoning behind it. If it doesn’t add value for our users, we must question why it’s there. To add strategic value, we strive for:      
    1. Relevance
      Our design must be appropriate and usable by the intended audience, and reflect the user’s world. We should avoid jargon and metaphors that don’t fit how users think of our product.
    2. Visibility
      We believe organizations work best when there is direct line of sight - people can see what they should be doing. The same holds true for user experience. If users can see and understand the capabilities of the system, they will be more successful in accomplishing their tasks.
    3. Accountability and results
      At the end of the day, our customers must justify the cost of using our product, and we have to be able to provide measurable results that show our product being beneficial, if not invaluable - everything we do should be mapped to a promise to make our customers’ companies better.
  6. Improve cross-module integration
    One of the core benefits of the SuccessFactors platform is the ability for different modules to work together to deliver more value to the user. This is an inherent advantage that SuccessFactors has over products in silos or standalone products that may have been sewn together as a result of an acquisition.
  7. Showcase user-centric innovations
    Ideas, needs, and solutions from user research are brought to the forefront in the SuccessFactors UI, while applying our deep design experience and knowledge of usability principles.
  8. Kaizen!
    To keep delivering value to our customers, stay ahead of their needs, and maintain our edge on our competitors, we must constantly improve our product. We must evaluate it from every angle, identify and address its weaknesses, and constantly work to improve the product by working towards these design goals.

From the three pillars to these eight design guidelines, our GUI has one purpose - to unlock the potential gold mine of actionable, people-related data that resides within our fully integrated talent and performance management suite. As we have stated, the more people use our software, the more value is added to the transaction system, but there is another layer of value to be extracted from the richness of the data, not just the quantity. When businesses invest in multiple modules, Goal Management, Career Planning, Recruiting, Compensation, Performance Management, incredibly rich data is gathered that can help businesses make very strategic people decisions quickly and objectively. Our GUI is designed to help our users easily tap into that rich data to help them make the right decisions to drive people performance.

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